The precious principality of Monaco on the Cote d’Azur plays glittering host to one of the more glamourous legs of the Formula 1 Race each year. For four days in May, the eyes of the world witness the area’s transformation, from town to racetrack. It’s the busiest weekend of the year for residents and royalty alike. Jetsetters descend to soak up rays on enormous yachts anchored in Port Hercule, or settle into prime seats on grandstands set up along an exhilarating street circuit. The race itself steers the hyper-light vehicles and their drivers around tight corners, through narrow streets, including the famous tunnel and feature straights which send cars zooming past the harbour.
Spot plenty of F1 fanatics and their willing entourages, celebrities swooping in for a photo or two, and a general concentration of wealth unseen elsewhere.
Outside of the race, Monaco is a breathtaking destination with a royal air, satiating anyone looking to venture out beyond the bubble of speed culture. Visit the Prince of Monaco’s private collection of classic cars, mooch on by the Port Monaco promenade, scope out the evening’s pick of yacht after parties or walk the sculpture trail and find serenity in the Princess Grace Memorial Rose Garden.
Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix takes considerable pre-planning to enjoy the fun. Booking at least two years in advance is advised for those wishing to rest their heads in one of the more popular 5-star accommodation, as many hotels are filled by racing teams and their VIPs.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- Reserve a table for prime viewing. Specifically on the Cafe de Paris terrace for lunch. Expensive yes, but a truly beautiful space and it comes with some of the best people watching to be done all year. Book at least six months in advance for the pleasure.
- Bring flat shoes to traverse Monaco’s hilly floor plan, but also sparkly, elegant things to dress the part in too.
- Stay: Hotel Metropole, Hotel Hermitage or its sister Hotel de Paris are the top-tier selections for unabashed glamour right in the heart of Monaco. All three are also part of the Leading Hotels of the World portfolio. Prefer to trip in for festivities instead? Try Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa, a seasonal luxury hotel in the hills of the French Riviera.
- Stop in first to the Cannes Film Festival. It’s just around the corner and is scheduled for May 17–28, 2017.
Visit Monaco Grand Prix